Honors | Questioning American Identity (HON)
H204 | 27313 | Jim Andrews


MW 11:15am-12:30pm
WI C109

Certain questions have been the focus of public controversy
throughout our history. These questions have arisen around different
issues but they all speak to our understanding of how our identity
as individuals in a community is shaped and what the essential
nature of that community is. In the course of debating these
questions, we are forced to confront, collectively and individually,
what it means to be “American” and how such meanings shift and
mutate over time. In this course we will examine original rhetorical
documents within their historical context, focusing on such matters
as the nature of the arguments offered, the kinds and potency of the
various appeals made, and the ways in which language itself has
persuasive influence; our goal will be to understand how rhetorical
choices and strategies influence perceptions, beliefs and actions.
We will consider how the answers to these questions affect or could
affect our present and our future political and social culture.

Requirements for the course include regular attendance in class,
reading material by the date assigned and participating in class
discussions, writing four short essays, and completing a take-home
final exam.